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 Posted:   Mar 19, 2001 - 8:46 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Well, I've been sick lately, so I've finally had the time to rewatch all five movies with pen and paper, as promised.

Below is a list of - not only alleged plot holes - but also observations of strange and peculiar phenomena/bloopers (preceded by a *).

I'd just like to say that when you set out to create a franchise like this, that transcend both space and time - and that does so globally - you are bound to encounter inconsistencies. Nevertheless, I'm tempted to say that some of these problems are caused by sloppy research rather than accidental screw-ups.

Please include the question if you're going to try a reply to some of these. They are listed more or less chronologically.

PLANET OF THE APES

* As previously mentioned, one must really question the integrity of the spaceships that seem to crash all over the place.

* Note how the sound of Charlton Heston's exaggerated laugh is out of synch with the careful smile that is visually shown during the "planting-of-the-flag" scene.

* What's up with the blue-flashing lightning effects? Is that supposed to indicate a ruined atmosphere?

* What are the scarecrows for?

1. Why do the Apes speak English? (In ESCAPE, we are told that "that is the language that has been taught us for generations" and that's about it).

* A major problem with the entire franchise is how the apes look! I'll get back to this later.

2. Why are the apes so incredibly harsh to the humans if they are unaware of how humans treated them in the past?

3. Why do the apes not question their own past prior to "The Lawgiver" 1200 years ago?

4. And related to the above, where are the reversed bible quotes culled from? The Lawgiver?

* Pretty amazing that Heston suddenly has shaving foam at his disposal towards the end of the film.

5. Cornelius says that his findings suggest a more advanced society the longer into the past he got. The film intends to say that that ancient society belonged to the humans. But weren't the apes already well-developed and "advanced" in the early 2000's or whenever armageddon kicked in?

BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES

* Note how Heston's haircut (and general look) differs radically in the newly inserted reaction cut when he sees the Statue of Liberty in the intro.

6. Pretty amazing that Brent's spacecraft crashes exactly in the same postapocalyptic New York area that Taylor crashed in. And exactly at the same time. How could they follow Taylor's trajectory?

7. As mentioned elsewhere, why send out a rescue mission for a spacecraft intended for colonization?

8. Zaius wants to go looking for life in the Forbidden Zone. Isn't the first film suggesting that he is already aware of human, intelligent existence?

9. Why haven't Cornelius and Zira been accused of herecy, as suggested in the prequel? Why are they still allowed to work as scientists?

10. Zaius says they don't want "martyrs" when they encounter the chimpanze(sp.?) demonstration before the army heads for the Forbidden Zone. Isn't killing another ape already outlawed by the "ape shall not kill ape"-routine?

* What's up with that subterranean fountain that Brent and Nova drinks from? First he tastes the water and realizes it's not drinkable. Then it suddenly is. And is it the water that "poisons" his mind or the brainwaves of some of the omnipresent superhumans?

* Does biology and evolutional theory really indicate that humans are able to read minds in 2000 years? Ok, I'll take this as regular artistic liberty. Maybe it's the radio-activity that does it, I don't know.

11. Why did the superhumans not get the ape "scouts" to reveal secrets? If they suggest that apes are immune to mindbending, then why are they nevertheless able to see the visions? This point lacks clarification.

12. If the superhumans know so little about the ape plans, then where do they have all their information from in terms of the Lawgiver etc.? How did they manage to collect all this, but not the trivial info as to what they're up to?

* How the hell does a nuclear bomb firing mechanism end up in a cathedral, anyway?

13. How can Taylor simply fall through the "mountain vision" and into captivity when others (like Zaius) can ride through and nothing happens?

* Zaius says that "this is the tunnel that our scoutS have reported" when it is previously stated that only ONE out of twelve scouts have made it back to report anything at all.

14. If the apes are indeed subject to mindpower, then why is there no resistance AT ALL when they storm the city below?

ESCAPE FROM PLANET OF THE APES

15. How did Cornelius and Zira acquire the skills and knowledge to raise the spaceship from the water (not to mention locate its whereabouts), and also - in the short timespan between the ape march to the forbidden zone and the detonation of the bomb, raise it from the water, repair it and then take off? And why would they leave the planet when they were unaware of the danger that awaited them?

16. How were Cornelius and Zira able to hit the exact same location (LA?) and time (well, only two years later) that Taylor came from?

* Why do the humans usually refer to them as apes rather than the more common term "monkeys"?

* ...which brings me back to the question of ape appearances and their credibility. Why are they put in the zoo and treated - initially - as any other ape when they are clearly extremely human-looking, large and walk and behave (not to mention dress) like a human? That this feature of the apes is not questioned more thoroughly is a recurring and MAJOR problem througout the entire franchise, but most clearly in the opening of ESCAPE.

* One would think that plates, knives and forks are not exactly essential things to bring when the world is about to end....

* Why not use a real gorilla for the "depressed gorilla" in the next cage rather than the poor-looking man-in-a-suit thingie?

* Dr. Dixon reads the report ON HIS WAY to the zoo. That's pretty sloppy work.

* The reaction to the apes' intial talking is rather unimpressive and unconvincing, and is too rapidly "accepted".

* You can't get more stereotypical than the international TV news reporters portrayed here. This is, incidentally, the only global glimpse we get in the entire series.

* The film is generally plagued with redundant dialogue, or rather OVER-EXPLICIT dialogue that explains to us and sums up everything we see happen onscreen. There is an even more horrible example of this in the next film.

17. How does Cornelius know that humans used to hunt animals "for sport"?

* Hasslein's nonsensical time-theory about the "highways and lanes of the future" are amusingly circular and void.

* How can Zira get drunk enough to reveal secrets 5 seconds after drinking a glass of "grapejuice plus"?

* Also amusing to notice how the president is far more (and stereotypically) concerned with reelection rather than the revolutional, world-overturning event of "human" apes, when he is confronted by Hasslein with the option of killing them.

18. Why is the term "monkey" offensive to the apes when they are allegedly unaware of humans that might have called them that in the past?

* Why on earth would someone choose apes as pets when cats and dogs are gone? Apes are expensive and hard to come by, and are usually only comfortable in selected climatic areas.

19. How does Cornelius know about the semian rise to power when he intially didn't even know (for sure) that humans existed as superior beings in the past?

20. Zira says that apes were turned into slaves 200 years after they became pets and then Aldo was the first ape to say "NO!" 300 years after that. This, of course, is wrong on several points. First of all - and according to the sequel - apes are turned into slaves already in the early 1990's. And then Aldo came around already in the early 2000's (approximately) and - as I will get back to - he was not the first to say "no" to the humans. In fact, the franchise never says who was the first to say "no", but rather implies that CAESAR was the first to REBEL!

21. Of course, Cornelius and Zira do not really make a difference to the eventual dominance of the apes, as Hasslein suggests. But then again, it is hard for him to know that at this point.

22. The commision claims that apes will treat humans no differently than the way humans treat apes today. In light of the horrible way apes treated humans in the first film, however, this is of course not true.

* Note how the final shots of Milo/Caesar's "ma-ma-ma-ma" mumbling is a constant visual repeat of one lip/picture movement. Kind of dorky.

CONQUEST OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

23. Again, it's 1991, and the apes weren't supposed to be slaves untill another 200 years, according to Zira.

* Armando's initial (and seemingly "casual") summing-up of what has been going on in the prequels is outlandishly silly ("remember that you are Caesar, the son of two talking monkeys, Cornelius and Zira, who came to earth in a spaceship many years ago..." etc.).

24. In no more than 20 years, all apes have suddenly become semi-humans (the only explanation is when Armando says that the apes grew larger...and larger only by being in human companionship)!! Actually, it's only 8 years, since Armando goes on to say that the plague wiped out all cats and dogs 8 years ago, and that the humans sought monkeys as replacements. So the 200/500 years of Zira has dwindled to 8!

25. Why are they leaving the circus in the first place?

* The guvernor seems suspiciously suspicious when he hears about the alleged "talking ape". Over-reaction.

26. How do the apes in the "outskirts" hear about the rebellion, and then join in?

27. Why is seemingly EVERYTHING in this world centered around the issue of apes? Isn't there anything else to worry about (and why are we not told about the surroundings and causes for the upcoming armageddon)?

* I'd say that LA is a surprisingly SILENT city. There's not much of regular life going on here, obviously.

28. The guvernor claims that the ape takeover of the headquarters will be the end of civilization as we know it. How can the takeover of a single office in a single city in a single country have these kind of effects on a global basis?

* Note that the only motivation for the hideous treatment of the apes is that the "ape within us must be whipped!" or something like that.

29. Caesar's prophecies claim that the apes will emerge from the new postapocalyptic world as a new, independent species. How can he be so sure that he - and all the apes - will not be demolished by the bombs as well?

30. Why is it that all the apes suddenly understand english during Caesar's final speech (for example, when C. tells them to put down their armour, they comply)?

BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES

(* I see that John Landis has a part in this film. Which role does he play?)

31. Again, Zira said that Aldo would be the first to say no. Clearly, no such thing happens in this film (although he reacts strongly when Abe, the teacher, says no to HIM).

* On the same note, no alternative for "no" is mentioned. How should the humans express a "negative imperative"?

32. Virgil talks about the possibilities for time travel. Hasn't time travel already been established through Taylor's journey or the arrival of Cornelius or Zira? Or are these records no longer known?

33. How the hell are the apes (Lisa included) able to speak, develop class systems etc. within Caesar's LIFESPAN??? Pretty amazing evolution, unless something godzilla-like happened in the nuclear blast.

34. It is not explained properly how the humans came to be inferior to the apes after the nuclear war. Is this also the case on a global basis?

* Pretty amazing that MacDonald, the brother of the guvernor's advisor in the prequel - survived the war and ended as Caesar's left hand.

35. The "ape shall not kill ape" law was intially established as a rule developed by The Lawgiver. Here it is alive and kicking more than 600 years before the lawgiver arrives...

* What year is this anyway?

36. Humans and apes live in harmony on Lawgiver's time. But if this is a different "lane" of the future, would The Lawgiver exist nevertheless?

-------------------

I'm sure there are more flaws, but these are the ones that immediately popped up.

I LOVE the series, but it's a bit uncomfortable to notice these mistakes nevertheless. Especially since you know how great it could have been if they had been avoided.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 19, 2001 - 8:55 AM   
 By:   Spacehunter   (Member)

quote:
Originally posted by Thor:
* Why not use a real gorilla for the "depressed gorilla" in the next cage rather than the poor-looking man-in-a-suit thingie?

Now this one I've always wondered about.

I can't comment on anything else, because ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES is the only one I've seen beginning to end, and even then it was probably about five or six years ago.

Impressive work, though, Thor.

np FRONTIER

 
 Posted:   Mar 19, 2001 - 9:04 AM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

These inconsistencies, along with others mentioned before, get to the heart of the matter as to why the Apes saga can NEVER be watched in one sitting. The films can only be taken separately after considerable spacing.

Some of these created plot lapses have to do with outside events forced on the scriptwriters that they had to make allowances for (Brent for instance, became necessary solely because of Charlton Heston's refusal to do more than a cameo in Beneath, hence we needed some excuse for another 20th Century man to end up on the planet). But by the latter films they really represented sloppy writing in every sense.

 
 Posted:   Mar 19, 2001 - 9:08 AM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

Another hole in "Beneath." When Brent meets Cornelius and Zira, she warns Brent that he could be imprisoned or killed like Taylor's "two friends." First problem is that Astronaut Landon was lobotomized, not killed in the first movie, and second Brent should be aware that there were three crewmen in addition to Taylor in the first film. Curiously, at no time does Brent even seem to have any interest in what happened to the other astronauts.

Likewise in "Escape" when Zira makes a reference to having only met "two men" who can talk (Taylor and Brent) the Council asks at length about Taylor yet curiously they never seem interested about whether they also knew of Brent's expedition.

Cornelius, when being interrogated about the world blowing up, seems to have a lot of knowledge and insight about the Alpha-Omega Bomb and the mutants who set it off, though there is nothing to indicate that he could have made any half-hearted speculations at all about that.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 19, 2001 - 9:12 AM   
 By:   AndrĂ© Lux   (Member)

quote:
Originally posted by Thor:
Well, I've been sick lately, so I've finally had the time to rewatch all five movies with pen and paper, as promised.


Next time pick some porno movies to watch!

And tell us what you think about sex, ok!?

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 19, 2001 - 9:15 AM   
 By:   Marian Schedenig   (Member)

I don't have time to read the full thing right now, and I haven't seen all the films yet, but here are some thoughts on some of your points:

2. Why are the apes so incredibly harsh to the humans if they are unaware of how humans treated them in the past?

3. Why do the apes not question their own past prior to "The Lawgiver" 1200 years ago?[/quote]

Isn't that simply the apes firm belief in their religion? I've always seen this as a rather strong criticism of religion in general.

* Why do the humans usually refer to them as apes rather than the more common term "monkeys"?

From Britannica.com:
ape
any of the tailless, manlike primates of the families Hylobatidae (gibbon and siamang) and Pongidae (chimpanzee, bonobo, orangutan, and gorilla), found in the tropical forests of western and central Africa and Southeast Asia. Apes are distinguished from monkeys by the complete absence of a tail, by the presence of an appendix, and by their more complex brains. (http://www.britannica.com/bcom/eb/article/3/0,5716,8093+1+7985,00.html?kw=ape[/url" TARGET=_blank>more)

In German, this linguistic difference also exists:
Monkey = Affe
Ape = Menschenaffe ("Man Monkey")

NW: Who Wants to be a Millionaire, on TV
[This message has been edited by Marian Schedenig (edited 19 March 2001).]

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 20, 2001 - 5:10 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

>>3. Why do the apes not question their own past prior to "The Lawgiver" 1200 years ago?

Isn't that simply the apes firm belief in their religion? I've always seen this as a rather strong criticism of religion in general.<<

Well, you can only remain dogmatic for so long, in my opinion. I remember that Zaius talks about the importance of maintaining the "life in innocence". But it really makes little sense that no apes - for several CENTURIES, have wondered about the ancient past prior to the Lawgiver. Not a single curious soul before Cornelius??? Impressive.

Thanks for the "ape" lesson, though. I didn't know that. There is no verbal distinction between "ape" and "monkey" in the Norwegian language and I falsely assumed that that the two were synonmous in English as well. As such, I assumed that "ape" was used in the film only because the film franchise itself has the word "ape" in it, overlooking the realistic, more COMMON usage of the word "monkey".

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 20, 2001 - 7:40 AM   
 By:   Marian Schedenig   (Member)

quote:
Originally posted by Thor:
Well, you can only remain dogmatic for so long, in my opinion. I remember that Zaius talks about the importance of maintaining the "life in innocence". But it really makes little sense that no apes - for several CENTURIES, have wondered about the ancient past prior to the Lawgiver. Not a single curious soul before Cornelius??? Impressive.

Well, perhaps there have been several, but none of them managed to stand up against the regime. Think of Galilei, who was forced to revoke his ideas, and the society at that time was already more advanced than the ape society depicted in the films.

As for apes, I just had the advantage of having the same difference in German. I already thought you probably don't have the two different words in Norsk. And though I can't remember it now, I wouldn't be surprised if I learned the difference between "ape" and "monkey" myself just because I found it interesting that "ape" is used in the films...

NP: Anton Bruckner: Symphony #6 (Berlin Philharmonic, Herbert von Karajan)

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 20, 2001 - 8:27 AM   
 By:   Timmer   (Member)

Monkey's have tails and Apes don't!....Interesting to note that the original novel was titled MONKEY PLANET http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/wink.gif">

 
 Posted:   Mar 20, 2001 - 12:50 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

Even though there was not a single monkey in that book, but only apes.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 20, 2001 - 1:32 AM   
 By:   Marian Schedenig   (Member)

quote:
Originally posted by Timmer:
Monkey's have tails and Apes don't!

Wow. That's the type of simple info I learned as a child, and now would never think of myself. Lately, I keep noticing things like this all the time, particularly when it's about animals. I seem to have forgotten much of what I took for granted 10 years ago.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 20, 2001 - 4:16 AM   
 By:   Chris Kinsinger   (Member)

* Why on earth would someone choose apes as pets when cats and dogs are gone? Apes are expensive and hard to come by, and are usually only comfortable in selected climatic areas.

THAT'S WHAT YOU THINK, BUDDY!

http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=1050478&a=7760084&p=44331903">

http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/biggrin.gif">

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 20, 2001 - 5:12 AM   
 By:   H. Rocco   (Member)

Thor, re John Landis' appearance in BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES: I once had the opportunity to ask him about that myself, since I've never been able to spot him, and wondered if he was a background ape (since he'd just made SCHLOCK, about a gorilla on the loose, with Rick Baker). No, he replied, he was a background human -- originally he had a little more to do in the picture, but those scenes were cut.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 20, 2001 - 5:16 AM   
 By:   Stephen Lister   (Member)

Apparently John Landis plays "Jake's Friend" ... but I'll be buggered if I can see any friend hanging around Jake who looks like John Landis!

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 20, 2001 - 11:06 PM   
 By:   stb247   (Member)

You've pointed out some interesting mistakes (most of them I already knew and was always unhappy about).

Nevertheless I love the films (even though they get worse with every sequel)

What makes me worry today is the trailer for the Tim Burton film. It's so action driven! I've heard the film contains nothing about politics and sarcasm, something the first film had plenty of. And that made it so good. Criticism of the society itself! And of course Goldsmith' music. And even Hestons acting (could you imagine anyone else as Taylor?)

I hope I'm wrong and Burton made a worthy film. But I was very disappointed by his "Mars Attacks!" so I am not that confident...

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 21, 2001 - 4:11 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Chris, that was hilarious!

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 21, 2001 - 7:35 AM   
 By:   Chris Kinsinger   (Member)

http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/biggrin.gif">

 
 Posted:   Mar 20, 2001 - 10:16 PM   
 By:   Gunnar   (Member)

Chris, tell me this ad isn't real!

Thor: Wasn't the author of POTA French (at least his name sounds French). So, perhaps the English translation of the book title 'Monkey Planet' was inaccurate to begin with...

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 20, 2001 - 11:08 PM   
 By:   Stephen Lister   (Member)

The original French title of Pierre Boulle's novel is LA PLANETE DES SINGES. So - what's an accurate translation of "singes"?

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 20, 2001 - 11:11 PM   
 By:   H. Rocco   (Member)

I've always read that Boulle's novel's title translates as MONKEY PLANET or PLANET OF THE MONKEYS. Certainly that is what the Japanese call both the book and the movie series ("Saru no Wakusei").

Cornelius would be very angry to learn this http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/wink.gif">

 
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